How Much Does the UK Dept. of Health Spend on ME?

MP Carol Monaghan (Glasgow North West) had asked the UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Care how much it plans to allocate to biomedical research for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis in the current financial year? 

In quotations below is the response from the Minister of State at the Department of Health and Social Care, Caroline Dinenage. Her response only references past spending, and does not indicate whether or not the spending is for biomedical research. Editor’s notes are in Italics. 

Her answer is confusing but the take-away appears that an annual £507, 842 pounds is being spent on ME research. However, that figure includes contributions from charities and £286,197 of that funding is most likely being spent on psycho-social research – not biomedical research. In other words, it’s not clear that any money is being spent on biomedical research by the Department of Health and Social Care.

Dinenage’s response about funding for ME:

“In the period in question, the major National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funding for biomedical research was through its Biomedical Research Centres and Units. These support research funded by the NIHR itself and also research funded by other public, charity and industry research funders. The level of funding for biomedical research into chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) for each financial year can be found in the table below. The funding for this research came from a combination of funders.”

The first table includes funding from charities so it’s not clear if anything came from the NIHR or MRC.

Financial Year








“The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) provides the infrastructure that allows high-quality clinical research funded by charities, research funders and life-sciences industry to be undertaken throughout the National Health Service. The level of funding for biomedical research into CFS/ME for each financial year can be found in the table below. The funding for this research came from a combination of the NIHR, the Medical Research Council (MRC) and medical research charities. Expenditure from the CRN coordinating centre itself is also outlined below:”

The second table simply says that NIHR spends a bit of money co-ordinating the money spent by others on research.  

Financial Year

CRN funding for research, £

Coordinating expenditure, £










“The MRC spend on research directly relating to CFS/ME can be found in the following table. Research into CFS/ME is a continuing priority for the MRC.”

The third table is, mostly likely, psycho-social research funded by the MRC. 

Financial Year








“The NIHR and the MRC welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including biomedical research into CFS/ME. It is not usual practice to ring-fence funds for particular topics or conditions. Applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made on the basis of the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money and scientific quality. On this basis, it is not possible to say how much funding is planned in the current financial year.

The NIHR recognises that CFS/ME is a debilitating condition and is speaking with the United Kingdom CFS/ME Research Collaborative and patient representatives about how best we can support a joined up approach to high quality research into this complex disorder.”


Latest News

Questions to Ask Prospective MPs About ME/CFS

In the next few weeks, candidates will be knocking on doors seeking votes for the upcoming UK Election. It’s important that candidates from all parties are made aware of the challenges facing people with ME and Long Covid. It can be a little daunting to be unprepared so here are some questions you might want

Read More »
red rectangle with the #MEAction Scotland logo on the left hand side and the words Impact Statement 2022-2023 on the right.

#MEAction Scotland publishes impact statement

#MEAction Scotland is pleased to publish our impact statement, which covers March 2022 to May 23. It reports on our work to campaign for effective support, create stronger advocates and raise awareness. As a small group of volunteers, it’s unfortunately not always possible to continually update on our activities as they happen, so the statement

Read More »
reddish rectangle image with different color stripes of red coming out at a diagonal from the center. In the center is the TeachMETreatME logo. The words celebrating an impactful campaign in white font underneath the logo.

#TeachMETreatME: Celebrating An Impactful Campaign

We are THRILLED to share the rolling successes of our #TeachMETreatME campaign with you, as we report back on the amazing medical education events that have taken place so far – with many more to come in the upcoming months! (And don’t miss the global #MillionsMissing events later in the article!) Over the past several

Read More »
Scroll to Top